A Tesco worker claimed that after being “held hostage” by his pregnant boss has won £48,000 at tribunal for sex discrimination as she tried to get him to work extra shifts in Christmas 2018.
Toby King who is 6ft said he was “falsely imprisoned” by his pregnant 5ft 4in Jo Francis as he was put in the back room, as she put her foot on the door, with her hand on the door handle and then grabbed his arm to prevent him from leaving.
King said that he was mocked after he told another Tesco boss and was told a “big man” cannot be frightened by a “small pregnant woman.”
King previously worked for the Prison Service and and was held hostage and was diagnosed with PTSD after the ordeal.
In 2019 King was sacked for “being absent without leave” despite being signed off work at the Tesco store in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
It was ruled that bosses failed to take his complaint seriously due his gender and his height at Watford employment tribunal.
Judge Judith George said, “She did not think he would be intimidated by her or ‘would take seriously’ her actions in the room because he was a 6-foot man and she a 5-foot 4-inch woman.
“Her words cause us to think that her mindset was partly based upon his sex – upon him being a man and not simply upon them being of different sexes.
“In that split second, part of the reason why she thought it wouldn’t upset him if she tried to stop him from leaving and took hold of his arm was that he was a big man and she was a little woman.
“In that sense her conduct was related to sex.”
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